The best brands, those with die-hard followers, fans, and even brand evangelists, have a secret sauce called “brand authority.” Without it, your marketing tactics could fall flat. Consumers may not see your business as authentic or acting in accordance with your company values.
Brand authority means you don’t just talk, you walk the talk. Build brand authority into your marketing plan instead of an afterthought. This way you can be sure that your content contributes to a cohesive corporate image. It all starts with understanding what brand authority is, its importance in today’s marketing plans, and the different tactics that can help you build authority.
What is Brand Authority?
When your business has “brand authority,” it means consumers respect and trust your brand. They trust you to do what you advertise and act in a way that aligns with your company’s core values. Companies with established brand authority have adoring customers who want to spend their money. Brand authority helps increase conversions, retention, and even engagement and advocacy among your consumer base.
Brand authority starts with a clear style guide
One of the key elements of marketing is a style guide that conveys the following things about your brand:
- Colours: the consistent palette you use to promote your brand
- Tone: the voice of your brand
- Pillars: your objective, your personality, your positioning, your perception and your promotion
- Story: Your brand pillars captured and conveyed in an engaging and memorable way
- Copy: encompasses your brand’s voice, tone, messaging, and style, such as witty, laid-back, or authoritative
With these components clearly defined in a style guide, you can start developing content and campaigns that establish brand authority.
How to Establish and Convey Brand Authority
Brand authority grows when a company’s message is consistent with its ideals; create and share content that shows what your business does, how you do it, and why. The topic should ideally be compelling and shareable. For example, blog posts with tips and actionable insights define you as an expert in your industry, which helps build brand authority.
Incorporate brand authority into your marketing plan to ensure that every piece of content links back to your core values and what’s important to your business and your customers. You want to show that you are experts and, more importantly, role models in your industry. Your customers need to know they can turn to you for questions and advice.
Good breeders give back
Meat can delivery service Good Ranchers, for example, believes in delivering high-quality, grass-fed, grain-finished beef, American-sourced seafood, and organic chicken and pork to its customers at the lowest prices. The core value of the company is to “give back”. Good Ranchers shares recipes, grilling tips and organic food ideas on their blog to establish their authority. The company also promotes its philanthropic efforts, noting on its website that it partners with local food banks and has donated 300,000 meals to needy families to date.
Patagonia promotes environmentalism
Outdoor apparel company Patagonia places great importance on sustainability and dedicates 1% of its sales to preserving and restoring the natural environment. He strives to highlight nature
its publicity images, featuring families hiking, fishing, climbing, and practicing other outdoor sports — with Patagonia products, of course. But the focus is not on the products; it’s about experience.
Communicate authority across channels
Building brand authority takes time and resources like content creation, community involvement (in your relative industry/field), thought leadership, and conversation starters. A mix of content, paired with actions that highlight your brand’s core values, can help build brand trust.
Create content based on your brand pillars
When generating your marketing plan, consider creating content based on your brand pillars.
For example, for Patagonia, these pillars include environmentalism, sustainability, and outdoor use. Determine the pillars of your own brand, then create content around each one. Patagonia seeks to educate consumers about its products, with sustainability in mind. Some blog posts and videos even teach and encourage its customers to repair its products, so that they can extend the life of the products and reuse them rather than creating waste.
Communication should be brief and easy to digest. Use relevant forms of media including your website, blog posts, social media platforms, email marketing and influencers to share your message. Spend at least a few days focused on each pillar, dividing the theme into a few sections shared through different media, then move on to the next pillar. Keep explaining why you do what you do and why you are the expert in your field.
Hire a marketing consultancy to help you
Your brand is more than a business. It’s a passion. Building on brand authority is one of the best ways to keep the fire of your original passion burning, to remember, reiterate, and reinforce what drove you to become a business owner.
However, business owners are often too “in the weeds” to see the big picture of branding. A marketing consultancy can help you incorporate brand authority into your marketing plan and develop a content strategy that clarifies your business mission.